Contact Improvisation is a dance form where physicality and playfulness meet in a unexpected and creative way. It has the potential to be very profound and during dancing CI you may be touched on many different layers of your being. Two dancers often initiate their dance with leaning against each others body, sharing weight and listening into the point of contact. Soon they will start rolling and sliding all around each other, raising and falling together while taking use of the partners body and offering support. From the very first moment on they will be involved in a journey into the unknown. By following distinct movement principles and by trusting the own physical perception a wide range of movement qualities can appear: the dance may stay tender and soft or may go wild and acrobatic quite quickly, nourished among others by the background of the dancers and the colour of the moment. It’s a dance in the here and now, it’s pure improvisation and communication, it’s also about our instincts and intuition!
Since 1972, when Steve Paxton (trained in Cunningham Technique, Aikido and many other forms) started to develop CI in collaboration with a group of young movers, CI started to grow more and more until it got spread out all over the globe. Nowadays a large network of CI connects the continents and you can go in many cities of the world to meet other dancers by communicating with your body - what in fact is beyond words and is one of the universal languages.
Photographer: Manuela Blanchard; Dancers: Adrian Russi, Jörg Hassmann